What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a natural method of health care that focuses on treating the causes of health problems, rather than just the symptoms. Chiropractic is based on a simple but powerful premise: With a normally functioning spine and a healthy lifestyle, your body is better able to heal itself. That’s because the spinal cord, which is protected by the spine, is the main pathway of your nervous system. It controls feeling, movement, and function throughout your body.
What is a Subluxation?
A subluxation is a misalignment and/or alteration of the normal motion of a vertebrae (spinal bone). A subluxation weakens spinal muscles, ligaments, discs and irritates nerves. This unbalances the body, causing pain, lack of energy and vitality, weakness and a lowered resistance to disease.
What does a Chiropractor do?
A doctor of chiropractic looks at your overall health – focusing not only on your spine, and extremities but also on your lifestyle. After an initial history, an examination is performed and x-rays are often taken. Based on the findings, the chiropractor will recommend an individualized treatment program to correct the subluxations. She may also suggest diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, and help implement them. If it is determined that your condition cannot be helped with chiropractic care, you will be referred to the appropriate healthcare provider.
How does Chiropractic work?
A person's spine is made of twenty-four bones called vertebrae. At the top of the spine is the skull which houses the brain or master computer. From the brain, the nerve impulses travel down the spinal cord (which is protected by the vertebrae.) Nerves branch out between the vertebrae and travel to all areas of the body. A person cannot take a step without the brain telling the body to move. When the vertebrae become subluxated they may put pressure on the nerve. The message from the brain is slowed down and the life energy carried by the nerve is unable to reach the organs and tissues at 100% of its potential. A chiropractor aligns the vertebrae through gentle adjustments to the spine, relieving the pressure on the nerve and allowing 100% of the nerve energy to reach the tissues it serves.
How long will it take to heal?
It all depends. Many times a subluxation has existed for a period of time before the person starts experiencing symptoms. The muscles of the spine have adapted to the incorrect position of the vertebrae. For that reason, it may take a series of adjustments before the muscles become accustomed to holding the vertebrae in the proper position. The muscles have to be retrained. It is almost like playing tug-of-war with your body for a while. The doctor adjusts the spine and the muscles, ligaments and tendons pull it back out. Many patients will not seek chiropractic care until the symptom appears. By that time, the vertebra has been misaligned for some time. That is why periodic spinal checkups are so important; prevention is the key to maintaining health.
What are the age limits to seeing a chiropractor?
There are no age limits to seeing a chiropractor. Adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s height, weight, age, and specific complaint. Subluxations can occur at any age and eliminating them causes substantial improvement in quality of life for all. For children and teens, chiropractic care can help prevent any postural distortions that may lead to complications later in life. For the older population, adjustments improve range of motion, allowing for a fuller, more active lifestyle.
Can pregnant women see chiropractors?
Yes! As stated above, adjusting methods are always adapted to a patient’s size, weight, age, and specific complaint. In addition, most pregnant women find they have easier pregnancies and deliveries when they receive regular chiropractic care. In addiiton, there are gentle adjusting methods that are often used on pregnent women and children.
Do I have to keep coming for the rest of my life?
This is a common misconception. While most people feel so good with regular chiropractic care that they choose to come on a regular basis to prevent any further subluxations from arising, it certainly isn’t required. Chiropractic delivers care on three levels: pain relief, corrective care, and maintenance care. The goal of pain relief is to eliminate immediate symptoms and requires more, frequent visits. Corrective care focuses on treating the underlying cause of your problem. Maintenance care focuses on maintaining the progress of the corrective phase and preventing further subluxations. This requires less frequent visits and usually corresponds with a brief check-up. For optimum health, it is recommended that you go through all three stages, though the ultimate decision is always up to you.
To see the Spinal Nerve Chart showing the nerves of the body and what they influence click here.